Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight is an annual celebration of the best that Scotland’s food and drink sector has to offer from every corner of the country; from iconic brands to innovative entrepreneurs. It’s also a time to take a look at the people and products that make our food and drink industry one of the most exciting in the world right now and remind ourselves why it’s so vital to support local providers and producers of Scottish food and drink.
This year the fortnight takes place from 31 August to 15 September, and 2019 marks the tenth year of the celebrations. So, we thought we'd join the festivities and take a little look at some of our favourite local food and drinks and let you know why they make such fantastic gifts too.
Any regular readers of our blog will know that we are very proud that the West Coast of Scotland is home to some of the best Whisky and Gin producers in the world. But we have only recently become aware of this particular local craft gin, produced just down the road in Dumbarton, who shares our name! Square Peg Spirits was established in 2018 (so it’s alright that we’ve only recently found out about them!) And we’re not being biased because of their excellent taste in names, but we think a bottle of the dry craft gin or the naturally flavoured pink gin would make a great gift for a keen gin drinker, both are produced in small batches in Strathleven and the bottles look good too.
Moving onto the softest of soft drinks now – not the easiest in terms of gifting but still worth a mention, as we couldn’t possibly talk about local producers without including the fantastic folk over at the wee isle dairy. The wee isle dairy is a family-run dairy farm on Gigha and we’re so pleased that they are doing so well with their delicious, fresh whole milk, which is delivered around the area daily, including to our own sandwich bar! The milk is supplied in recyclable glass bottles which we love.
Back on the mainland, we have the best suggestion for those who enjoy sweeter things. The Oban Chocolate Company is an award-winning chocolate factory and café who create innovative handmade chocolates. The best bit is, you don’t have to go to Oban to sample their delights, you can also shop online! Although we do thoroughly recommend dropping by if you’re in Oban, as there are windows through into the factory where you can watch the master chocolatiers create their magic, and they serve the most amazing waffles.
If you prefer savoury to sweet, then some of the best smoked Scottish salmon can be bought online from Inverawe Smokehouse. Inverawe originated on the banks of the river Awe 35 years ago, and their smoked fish is now sought after throughout the world. You can order a wonderful array of smoked fish and game online, even choosing to create a hamper or tableware gift set, an amazing gift for any food fanatic.
If you would rather create your own food hamper to give as a gift, then it’s always a nice idea to include an element that the recipient can keep. You could choose to present the goodies on a nice serving platter or chopping board like this lobster kitchen board or line a basket with a nice cotton tea towel, like this Salmon Tea Towel from Ulster Weavers.
One of our favourite and best-selling ranges in the shop is Rupert Blamire Ceramics which can be the perfect complement to any food gift. He produces pieces with chefs in mind, so often you can find something that is functional and practical like his butter pot. We really love his work and we think that it’s so popular because it’s got such broad appeal, the colours and designs are beautiful without being feminine, which makes it ideal for gents’ gifts, or for a couple or family.
Lastly, how about a classic gifting solution, buy a tin and fill it with their favourite biscuits, or for that added personal touch you could always bake them yourself? Our favourite and most popular caddy is the St Kilda Biscuit Barrel which is sure to look good on any countertop, and it’s so pretty you wouldn’t even need to wrap it up!
We hope that we’ve done our bit this Scottish Food Fortnight, but if you’re still looking for ideas then why not pop over to our Eating and Drinking or In the Kitchen collections on the website for some more food for thought?